Spotlight on Together We Can Fundraising

Tell us a bit about TWCFR and how it started
We launched TCWFR in Nov 2016 after I relocated back home to Whitehaven from living in the North East for many years. While I was in the North East, I worked for a charity called The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, we provided specialist equipment to children with disabilities. At my time at the charity, I worked in various roles, first doing the accounts then after completing my Certificate in Fundraising with the Institute of Fundraising, I started working in the fundraising team and worked my way up to the office and fundraising manager before I left.
When I came home, I wanted to use my skills and experience in the fundraising sector to help and support local charities, I came up with the idea of TWCF and the last 4 years have been very busy!

A bit about your background as founder / director
julieanne Kelly Together we can fundraisingI am Julieanne Kelly and I’m 43 years old, from Whitehaven, I was brought up on Red Lonning in Whitehaven with my mam, dad, and brother, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents on Hensingham and Woodhouse. I left school with poor grades and I started gigging in my 1st band at 15 years of age, as a vocalist, over the years I had various office and admin jobs while gigging, when I went to the North East, I started gigging full time, until around 2010 when I went back to college. I completed AAT accountancy course and then that led me to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund. I have been back home since June 2016, it was the best thing I did. I am now in a band with local musicians, Delorean, which I love!

A bit about who you work with and what it involves
In my team at TWCFR we have Joy who is the Office Manager and Community Fundraiser, Tom who is a Fundraiser, specialising in funding applications and Babs our Communications and Marketing Officer.

We work with: Rosehill Youth Theatre, The Solway Hall, Calderwood House, Safety Net (UK), Blue Sky Trust, Always Another Way, Freedom Project, Whitehaven Community Trust, TEGVirtual, Socially Mobile and more recently Skills 4 U among others thought out the year and of course Women Out West! You can find links to all our clients here.
We basically work with clients to offer fundraising support to bring in an income so that the charitable projects can be delivered.
For example – during Covid-19, our women at WoW needed iPads to get online to access services, so we fundraised to raise the money we needed.

What do you enjoy most about fundraising
Funding and donations coming in! It still after all these years, excites me and makes me happy, it is because I know, how much of a difference money makes, even to the smallest of projects. Then of course, all the wonderful clients we work with.

What are biggest challenges in role?
Meeting the demand, especially since Covid-19, there have been so many pots of funding that you could apply for, we have constantly been writing application after application. Then we had a large number of events that were cancelled, so these have all been very challenging.

Any significant milestones or big “wins” that you want to share?
We have secured a lot of funding since we launched in Nov 2016, which has been amazing. In the last 12 months we now have raised 1.6 million, plus lots of other things such as online campaigns, the virtual Great North Run……..we have been able to deliver so much, even in these difficult times, which I am really proud of.

Has Covid-19 had a big impact? Have you found ways round this?
Yes, huge! Our work load increased in April 2020 due to Covid-19, which led me in employing Babs into our team to help with the communications and marketing side of things to help drive online campaigns and community fundraising as all face to face events have had to be cancelled. And again, the pots of funding that we could apply for, which resulted in Tom and I working flat out to make sure we applied for as much as we could for our clients.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Great North Run 2021! It’s always a fantastic event, fingers crossed it can go ahead next year, if not, we will do it virtually like we did this year, we still had fun and raised lots for local charitable causes.

Tell us about the Christmas campaign?
We have launched a Christmas Campaign, so if anyone would like to make a donation to Women Out West, we would really appreciate it, idea is, you make a donation and then we send you Merry Christmas messages to say you have donated to WOW which you can share on social media to let all your family and friends know, you will receive a Facebook, Story and Twitter message.

TWCFR would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, thanks to all our clients, supporters, volunteers, funders and people in the community that make donations, we couldn’t do what we do without you all – thank you!

This interview was carried out with Julieanne Kelly, founder and director of Together We Can Fundraising.

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